Stop Thinking, information pills Start Exercising from Headspace. If you talk to me for a little bit, you may eventually hear me talk about Headspace, an app that I have been using to learn about, and how to meditate. The practice that Headspace develops enhances mindfulness, also called awareness. The practice teaches you how to become aware of your thoughts. In becoming more aware of our passing thoughts, we begin to see thoughts are merely passing things. More, this helps us learn that it’s not the thing – a traffic jam, a heavy barbell, a conflict with a co-worker, whatever – it’s how we respond to the thing that defines our experience.
What does this have to do with CrossFit? I have talked before about the importance of positive self talk – using positive words – ‘keep going’ instead of ‘don’t stop’ and avoiding thinking and saying things like ‘don’t put it down’ when other more positive words will do. I was a big believer in this, but I have changed my mind.
Have you ever experienced the mental conflict of wanting to use positive self talk and negative self talk creeps in? Instead of focusing on the work, your mind, even though you are working hard, starts beating yourself up over not doing at well as you hoped or using negative words when positive ones would be better. This type of thinking happens in the matter of seconds, but it can define our experience.
For example, imagine you have to do 100 wall balls for time. You plan on doing 50 straight to open the workout. For the first 20, you’re feeling great. You’re telling yourself you’re doing great. All of a sudden lactic acid creeps in. Things begin to burn and you think “put it down.” But you haven’t reached 30 yet. Then your self talk gets going. You start the mental flea market of bargaining with yourself. “Ok, I’ll drop it, but I’ll pick it right up and do 15.” The you drop it, pick it up and do 7. Now you’re calling yourself names like wussbag or candy apple. Or maybe something worse.
The cool part is none of this matters – the positive talk, the negative talk, they’re all the same – just thoughts. By focusing on what is real – the feet on the floor, the feel of the ball, the breath, the sounds of others working hard, we experience the workout as it is. This probably takes a lifetime of practice, but to me, it’s worthwhile.
Workout of the Day
The Cube, Phase 2, Week 3
5 sets of 2, 85% of 1RM
5 Handstand Pushups
10 Med Ball Cleans 20/14
15 Box Jumps 24/20